Balancing Your Day:

Husbands in the Home School

 By Katherine M. Miner

Mother of the Redeemer Homeschool Support Group, Oxford, MI 

This article reprinted from the Spring 1995 issue of

The Catholic Family's Magnificat! Home Education Magazine

Copyright 1995

When I started my fourth year of homeschooling this past September, I began with great anticipation and anxiety. We had moved our classroom into our living room during the summer months, expecting to be settled when fall arrived.


As I walked around our "classroom" straightening desk tops and rearranging book shelves, I remembered other times. Evenings that were spent listening to the sounds of crickets and frogs, class times, daily Mass, music lessons, car pools for practices and games - I had even assigned seats in our van and at the kitchen table! Everything was in place and I was very organized - but something was wrong. I felt uneasiness within me.


Our seven children reported to our living room/class room, promptly after returning from daily Mass. The chaos began as they took out their books and sharpened pencils. The phone began to ring (the phone is our number 1 enemy!). The dog wanted in and out (and out and in). At first, one child would have a question, then the next, and then next. The following two hours would be chimes of, "I can't do this!"


In the back of my mind were nagging thoughts of juggling doctor and dentist appointments along with the courses of algebra, English, and biology. Then, of course, I couldn't forget the laundry, dishes, and meals.


Could I handle everything, plus any extra activities that would squeeze their way in (like birthdays and holidays)? It wasn't long before I also screamed, "I need help - I can't do this!"


It took an evening family seminar (as I sat close to tears) to help me realize I did have help - my husband! I had to let my husband in on my day. Most of us wives don't think our husbands could possibly understand or lend a hand.


What we often forget is that we already have a game plan set up for us by Christ. He wants men to be the head of their families, just as Christ is head of the Church (Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it. Ephesians 5:25).


If we women feel as though everything depends on us, we will show it in our behavior. Our attitudes could express the idea that our husbands are not supportive. We have to learn to let them help us.


 Sit down with your husband and ask him to help you prioritize your day. Then watch his jaw hit the floor! Tell him what you think needs to be done and let him help direct you. Pray for Our Lord's guidance before you work together on any schedule or plan.


 Remember that structure is also extremely important. Men work in a structured environment and they can be a great help incorporating structure into our homes. Children really flourish with structure.


 Colleges are finding that homeschooled graduates are self-disciplined and have solid time management skills. This is a direct result of well-structured environments.

 How do we allow our husbands to be supportive? I'd like to share a simple chart that works for our family and is similar to the one below. Just modify it if you wish to adapt it to a plan that will work for your family.


Time Started

Time Finished





X ---------------------------5









Continue with your own subjects

You will want to fill in your own subjects under "Class." How to fill the rest? Let the children fill in what time they started and finished. Did they finish the work completely? If so, they can "x" the box. If not, leave it blank.


The next part is Mom's job. She can look over the chart and be sure each child has filled in boxes honestly, for starters. Then she rates each child's attitude between "0" and "5," with the "5 being the highest possible number. If a child gets "5" average at the end of 25 consecutive days, he receives the pleasure of going out for a meal with Mom and Dad alone.


For us, each day begins with my husband getting up a half an hour earlier than normal. While he is in the shower, I iron his shorts for work and make his lunch. A little later, as I'm making breakfast, my husband fills out the lower portion of the chart that asks for additional tasks.


The charts may have headings like "Chores," "Special Assignments," "Academic Accomplishments Initiated by the Child," and "Comments." We've also included room for a personalized paragraph for each child. My husband fills that in, too, praising and thanking each child for completing something of importance the day before.


Then Dad wakes the older children (ages 8 and above). He goes over what is expected of them that day, using my day planner as a guide. He may also include a character study on the main virtues for that day, or he may go over a verse from the Holy bible. He also might just leave the time open for concerns that each child might have or want to discuss.


(Article continues under chart below.)




Academic Accomplishments

Initated by Child











Mom & Dad


After my husband has come home from work and had dinner, he then proceeds to talk to each child about their own separate charts. How was their attitude? How did they respond to Mom's direction? Did the children complete their work? If not, Dad does homework (yes - homework!) with that child.


Normally, when men come home from work, they're tired. No one wants to discuss problems. So we've come up with another solution - Mom and Dad's Night Out. We schedule a time together to be away from the four walls of home - even if it is a car ride to get an ice cream cone! This is designated time together to talk about concerns. We discuss what has worked and what hasn't - away from the ears of the children. The communication between family members is essential to the success of homeschooling - family life in general.


One point we need to mention is flexibility. Sometimes a day just doesn't run as smoothly as we have planned. Avoid getting frustrated and face the fact that some days we'll have to "bend" a bit.


Instituting any plan is difficult and requires great effort. When letting our husbands give us direction, it is natural for us to want to hang on to our control. By encouraging our husbands to take control of our home schooling environment, we are also allowing them to be supportive. We will benefit from the home environment without being in total control! When Dad supports Mom, and Mom supports Dad, the family works as one unit - as Christ intended.


Katherine Miner is the leader of a homeschooling group in Oxford, MI. She and her husband Mark are the parents of seven children. The children have been home educated the past four years.

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This article originally appeared in the Spring 1995

The Catholic Family's Magnificat! Home Education Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

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